It’s once time again for another issue of Brian’s The Week In Smoke. In case this is your first Week in Smoke, be advised that it covers many (though not necessarily all) of the cigars I’ve smoked in the past week (or the past month, or however long it has been since the last issue), along with a couple of quick thoughts that came to me at the time. These are not full cigar reviews, but quick blurbs based on a single smoking experience. As such, they may be influenced by the natural variations that occur from one cigar to another. Your mileage may vary. (If I know the cigar well enough to comment, I may mention if an experience strays from what understand to be the norm.)
An appearance in The Week in Smoke does not preclude nor guarantee a future in-depth review. Whenever possible, I’ve linked to more a thoughtful and thorough review of the cigar in question. (Or maybe I’ve linked to a photo of Jerry The ‘Stache. You won’t know until you click.) Enjoy!
AJ Fernandez New World Gobernador
The word is that AJ Fernandez blended this cigar with his father to commemorate the European discovery of tobacco back in 1492. The story made me wonder I was in for either a potent or simple cigar inspired by the times before complex modern blends of tobacco. It turns out I was reading a little too much into the name. (The box press probably should have clued me in on that.) The New World produced bready, woody, peppery and creamy flavors with some nice raisin-like sweetness. I’m not sure what Europeans smoked back in the fifteenth century, but I think they’d be satisfied with the New World.
Ezra Zion FHK Stature *
I don’t believe I’ve had the FHK before, and I think I’ve had this sample for a while at this point. Whatever the case, I spotted it in the humidor the other day, and it looked good, so I lit it up. It turned out to be a pretty interesting smoke. I noted cocoa, earth, and creamy coffee, with herbal and floral notes, particularly midway. At one point it was almost minty, which I usually take as a warning sign that I could be in for a headache. But no headache appeared, and it turned out to be an interesting and pleasant experience.
Illusione Fume D’Amour Viejos
As much as I enjoy the well-established Illusione lines, it’s always fun to try something new. I’ve seen varying translations of the name, everything from “love smoke” to “smokers love” and I’m not sure which is the most accurate. But as long as smoke and love are a part of it, I’m in. The profile was very nutty and sweet throughout, at one point tasting something like a toasted peanut butter and wildflower honey sandwich, something I was quite fond of as a kid. I also noted a little chocolate and coffee early on, and earthier flavors toward the end. But it wasn’t a perfect affair. The wrapper split pretty badly midway, partially due to a hole and probably exacerbated by the cold weather. It proved to be more of a nuisance than deal breaker, even though I was definitely burning more binder and filler than wrapper at times. I saw beyond its flaws and enjoyed our time together. Fume D’Amour and I will have to do it again some time, hopefully without the complications.
Ortega Cigars Mini Habano
As you know from reading my many Week In Smokes, one thing I love is a good short smoke. But I wasn’t all that impressed with Eddie Ortega’s Mini Habanos the first time I lit up one. The story was different this time around. As you might expect, time was short on this occasion and regrettably, I didn’t take notes as puffed. It was a nice alternative to some of the other short premium cigars on the market, one worth keeping on hand for those in-between times.
Perdomo Double Aged 12 Year Vintage Sungrown Robusto
The name of this cigar is nearly as much a mouthful as its 56 ring gauge, which is my upper limit on comfortable smoking. But the name is actually short when compared to the path the tobacco took to my ashtray. It spent ten years locked up in a bale, before being paroled for two additional years in a bourbon barrel. All the hard time seems to have produced a pretty mellow cigar. There was some spiciness and of course a lot of wood to the profile, but it blended pretty nicely with almond and a varying sweetness. There wasn’t a lot happening here, a little variation in the sweetness as noted, but what was happening was good, and cigar burned perfectly.
* Big Brother would have you know these cigars were gifts or free samples, and that my opinions on them is suspect. My opinions (and this bottle of ridiculously high-gravity stout) are my own, your response to them is your own. All your base are belong to us.
** I have too many smokes, and this denotes that the smoke in question has been sitting in one of my humidors for at least a year, and thus qualifies as “aged”. If my collection continues to grow, the chances are good I’ll be on that Discovery Channel show about people who hoard stuff and face eviction.
Some of the pictures in Brian’s The Week In Smoke first appeared on twitter or instagram. If you’d like to see these lists constructed in real time, follow Brian on twitter or instagram. If you don’t, you’ll make the Fail Whale cry. And he’s ugly when he cries.